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Archive for October, 2012

Kinecting with Annerieke, Part 3

Posted on October 23rd, 2012 by Admin

Annerieke Heuvelink, Ph.D. is a researcher with the Dutch institution TNO, who is spending a year at Mayo Clinic working in the HAIL Laboratory, a partnership between Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging and Charter House.

In this installment of Kinecting with Annerieke, Annerieke shares an update on her exer-gaming study and her close encounter with medical history.

Czech Clinical Research Center opens on Mayo model

Posted on October 17th, 2012 by Admin


Opening ceremony at ICRC, Czech Republic

This week they cut the ribbon on what will become the first Euro-wide clinical research center. Located in Brno, the second largest Czech city, the International Clinical Research Center or ICRC will conduct clinical studies with physician-researchers throughout Europe. Conceived by Tomas Kara, M.D., Ph.D. of St. Anne's Hospital in Brno and Virend Somers, M.D., Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic, the "phenotype" of the operation bears a remarkable resemblance to Mayo's Clinical Research Unit and the approach is a lot like how Mayo manages its multisite clinical trials. This is part of Mayo's exporting of its ideas, models and technologies to key locations around the globe. Mayo and the ICRC have numerous research projects already underway, with visiting scientists shuttling between the two institutions.

The ICRC will focus on cardiology and neurology for starters, collaborating with four or five key research centers at medical centers and universities across Europe. The idea is to make the facility in Brno a sort of space station for multi-national clinical studies. The infrastructure (the building will be dedicated in early 2013) was funded by grants totaling $220 million from the European Union and Czech government, in response to a joint application from the ICRC and Mayo. We'll have more here about the projects as things develop.

State of the science facilities to boost clinical research across Europe

Individualizing Medicine 2012 — Media Panel Discussion Archive

Posted on October 4th, 2012 by samsmith

Ira Flatow, host of "Science Friday" on National Public Radio hosts a special media panel discussion Great Expectations: Making Informed Decisions in Individualized Medicine

Panelists include a cross-section of media, scientists and public representatives. The panelists are, from left to right on the screen:

  • Ira Flatow, moderator
  • Ron Wisnlow, deputy bureau chief and senior medical, health and science writer, The Wall Street Journal
  • Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., director, Center for Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic
  • Erika Check Hayden, senior reporter, Nature
  • Gail Onderak, co-chair, Community Advisory Board, Mayo Clinic Biobank
  • Susan Wolf, J.D., McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine and Public Policy, and Faegre Baker Daniels Professor of Law, University of Minnesota

Individualizing Medicine 2012 — Day 1 Archive

Posted on October 4th, 2012 by samsmith

Morning sessions from Day One of IM2012 provide an overview of Individualized Medicine from the theme "Individualizing Medicine Today -- A Primer on Individualized Medicine"

  • Michael P. Snyder, Ph.D., Director, Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine, Stanford University
  • Bryan A. White, Ph.D., Director, Microbiome Programs, Division of Biomedical Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Jeffrey M. Trent, Ph.D., Founding President and Research Director, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)
  • Panel discussion featuring the previous three presenters; moderated by Ceci Connolly

Afternoon sessions from Day One of IM2012 provide an overview of individualized medicine from the theme "Individualizing Clinical Care"

  • Marc S. Williams, M.D., Director, Genomic Medicine Institute, Geisinger Health System
  • Yves A. Lussier, M.D., Clinical Research Information Officer and Assistant Vice President for Health Affairs, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System
  • Noralane M. Lindor, M.D., Consultant, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic
  • Panel discussion featuring previous three presenters; moderated by Ceci Connolly

Individualizing Medicine 2012 — Day 3 Archive

Posted on October 4th, 2012 by samsmith

Day three of IM2012 features a morning session on the Decision Support Infrastructure of Individualizing Medicine

  • Daniel R. Masys, M.D., Affiliate Professor, Biomedical and Health Informatics, University of Washington 
  • Colleen Bushell, Information Designer, Visual Analytics, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Robert A. Greenes, M.D., Ph.D., Ira A. Fulton Chair and Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Arizona State University
  • Panel discussion of previous three presenters. Moderated by Ira Flatow, host, "Science Friday," National Public Radio.

Presentations ended at 11:30 a.m.

Individualizing Medicine 2012 — Day 2 archive

Posted on October 3rd, 2012 by samsmith

Day two of IM2012 features a morning session on Individualizing Laboratory Medicine

  • James L. Weber, Ph.D., President and Founder, PreventionGenetics
  • Anna Wedell, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Senior Consultant, Clinical Genetics, Centre for Inherited Metabolic Diseases, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital
  • John Logan Black, M.D., Consultant and Vice Chair of Business Development, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic
  • Panel discussion with three previous presenters, moderated by Ceci Connolly

Afternoon session discusses the Ethical and Regulatory Implications of Individualizing Medicine

  • Henry (Hank) T. Greely, J.D., Director, Center for Law and the Biosciences, Stanford University
  • Karen J. Maschke, Ph.D., Research Scholar, The Hastings Center
  • Susan M. Wolf, J.D., McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine & Public Policy and Faegre Baker Daniels Professor of Law, University of Minnesota
  • Panel discussion with three previous presenters, moderated by Ceci Connolly

Evening panel discussion features Ira Flatow moderating discussion on genomics for the public. Starts at time 11:14:30 (near the end of the archive).

Interview with Dr. Michael Snyder, Stanford University

Posted on October 3rd, 2012 by Admin

Our colleague Hoyt Finnamore caught up with Michael Snyder, the kickoff speaker at the Individualizing Medicine conference.....


Media Panel Big Success

Posted on October 3rd, 2012 by Admin

Wall St. Journal reporter Ron Winslow talks to a high school teacher as Ira Flatow, Erika Check Hayden and Gail Onderak chat following the panel discussion. At left is Dr. Gianrico Farrugia.

If you were watching last evening's media panel from the Individualizing Medicine conference here on Advancing the Science, you already know what a good exchange it was between the journalists and other experts under the moderating of Ira Flatow. In addition to attendees from the conference and members of the public, we had also invited high school science teachers and their students. They showed up in large numbers and many stayed afterwards to get autographs and ask questions. We could easily have extended the session far beyond the hour time limit given the number of questions submitted. By our count over 300 people were present and at least 30 watched the program online. Thanks to all who made it possible.

Posted on October 2nd, 2012 by Admin

Ethics and Genomics

Posted on October 2nd, 2012 by Admin

Hank Greely (J.D.) of Stanford Law School is now on stage, talking without a PowerPoint. That is interesting in itself... but his take on ethics of genome sequencing is direct and also interesting. He predicts that in 10 to 12 years, most people will have their whole genomes recorded in their medical records. To get there, there will need to be regulation of next generation sequencers because they will be, in a clinical setting, a medical device -- says he. How good does your specificity have to be in a test to have a good -- and ethically-- predictive value -- per machine? How can we be sure the sequence we get is the right sequence? How do you differentiate false positives? How do you validate accuracy? All questions to be answered. Still, he says he believes genomic scans will probably be a good thing.

Interpretation will be another major hurdle. It will also cost proportionately much more than the actual genomic sequencing.Who will do it? What if results differ with interpreters? Dr. Greely suggests creating the equivalent of an open discussion, wiki-like,  of experts to consider the latest research in a transparent way. Then software could be developed based on this process. That software becomes -- another medical device -- needing - you guessed it - regulation.

If that all isn't hard enough, then add the element of the patient. How much and what information do you return to patients? He is worried about people making bad decisions based on whole genome scans -- and says expert guidance is needed. He suggests they be used only with prescriptions so there would be a physician involved. Ultimately information flowing back to the patient should be used under the traditional "do no harm" of medicine. And he suggests new inventions and methods be created to inform people of what they should focus on...and what they shouldn't....and what they should talk about with their doctor and/or genetic counselor.

And then, genomes, he says, will have to be re-reviewed in light of new scientific discoveries and information. How do you do that and keep a patient up to date? Who keeps the information? Will there be a centralized database or "holding tank"? And how will confidentiality be ensured? And finally, who will own the information?

As Hank Greely said, there's a lot to be done.